Dartmouth student shines at Meeting Street Telethon

Jan 29, 2020

If you caught the Meeting Street Telethon on TV this past weekend, you might have spotted a familiar face hosting the annual fundraising drive: Gabe Rosario-Farias.

The Dartmouth student was one of several co-hosts of the annual telethon, which was broadcast on WPRI-12 on January 25. The telethon raised more than $1 million to benefit Meeting Street, which operates a school in Providence and the Schwartz School in Dartmouth for children with disabilities.

Dressed in a stylish tuxedo and bright red bow tie, Gabe set the fashion bar high. His fellow co-hosts, and even the WPRI news anchors chose to emulate it. Several days before his big television debut, he smiled and laughed to indicate his unique dress style was his favorite part of appearing on TV.

His mother, Joanne Farias, knew when she first met Gabe he was not one to let a disability define him. Gabe was born with cerebral palsy. Joanne and her husband Wayne took Gabe in when he was one month old, but decided to adopt him.

Joanne was quick to spot Gabe’s intellectual strength. He could easily communicate through a system of blinks and smiles, and now uses a touchscreen computer controlled by eye movement to communicate.

Once Gabe becomes proficient in spelling and grammar, he will be able to use a more advanced computer system to spell out complete words and sentences.

Gabe is now in the third grade at the Grace School at Meeting Street in Providence, where he is determined to learn as much as he can. He is now taking tests with his peers, and eager to join his peers in after-school programming.

“He just wants to do what everyone else is doing,” Joanne said.

He will need to master the English language for his dream job as a sportswriter. He loves basketball and hockey, and has been to several Bruins games.

“He just loves sports, and if something happens like a fumble in football he’s the first person to yell at the TV,” Joanne noted, as Gabe smiled on.

Before Gabe’s big television debut, he enjoyed several months of pre-telethon publicity appearances. Meeting Street filmed a video featuring his daily life at school, and billboards and advertisements for the telethon prominently featured him.

As for what’s next, Joanne said he will continue his studies and learning new things.

“It’s always surprising what he knows,” Joanne said.

This article has been corrected. Gabe attends the Grace School at Meeting Street in Providence, not the Schwartz School in Dartmouth.